House of Mirrors

I love mirrors. They let one pass through the surface of things.

Claude Chabrol

House of Mirrors

The last thing I expected walking into the Mirror House Q8 was a feminist visionary whose work promotes the Big Bang Theory and other elements of cosmology and the Zodiac. Alas, expect the unexpected.

Lidia Qattan’s magnum opus is the Mirror House, and her pride in her and her late husband’s work is apparent from the moment you meet her. A widower of the award winning Kuwaiti artist Khalifa Al-Qattan, Lidia developed the idea for her home and executed it entirely on her own. The two-story home in Qadisiya, Kuwait is a remarkable reflection of her personal and spiritual philosophy, and of her devotion to her late husband.

After being greeted with homemade cakes and cookies, ginger and lemon drink, and a warm smile, Lidia delved into the inspiration for her home: her daughter and a broken mirror. “If you believe that you get 7 years of bad luck with every broken mirror, then wow!” She laughed and gestured to the sitting room around her with floor to ceiling broken mirror mosaics.

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Lidia’s sitting room, and the first room she decorated with mirror mosaics

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Turtle Mosaic

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In part practical, to prevent the termite infestation from destroying her home, and in part an expression of her spiritual beliefs, the mirrors are found in every room of the home. Common motifs create a sense of continuity and flow from one room to the next. Images of sea creatures such as fish, turtles, sharks and jellyfish adorn the lower paneling of the walls, while stars, moons, zodiac signs and planets adorn the ceilings and upper walls.

My favourite piece of symbolism embedded into the home is the asteroid on the ceiling of the entry hallway. Lidia explained that during the formation of the universe, a meteor collided with planet earth bringing with it water and the first cellular being, which then evolved into life on earth as we know it. Thus, it was apropos to adorn the entryway with a meteor because she believes that visitors to the Mirror House bring life into her home.

After a lengthy discussion of how beliefs and money shape a country (for better or worse…) Lidia brings you to a space themed room with glow in the dark decals, and glowing sculptures. She turns out the lights and plays ambient music while you sit contemplatively admiring the artwork.

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Part of one of the space themed rooms

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Planetary bodies and stars that glow in the dark

Afterwards, we played a tile throwing game, a guessing game, and a spinning wheel game. P even won me a handmade necklace!

After two years of living here and seeking out cultural experiences, this was by far the most engaging, creative and interesting place I visited in Kuwait. It was a wonderful way to cap off my time in the Middle East. A big thank you to Lidia Qattan for having us.

Ma’a salama Kuwait!

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The exterior of The Mirror house

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The elevator!

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My favourite room….the library!

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Another view of the exterior of the building

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A verse from the Quran on the ceiling of the library

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Lidia showing us photos of when her husband was alive

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Even the washroom is covered floor to ceiling in mosaics

Keep Wandering,

W

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